Users can now replace Blogger profile with Google+ profile

It's the first integration between Google+ and Blogger

In the first integration between the Google+ social networking site and the Blogger blog publishing platform, users will be able to replace their Blogger profiles with their Google+ profiles, the company announced on Monday.

The benefits for Blogger publishers of using the Google+ profile include giving their readers "a more robust and familiar sense of who you are" as well as having their posts surface with an annotation in the search results of their social connections, Google said.

"Plus, bloggers who switch will automatically get access to the Google+ integrations we'll be rolling out in the future," wrote Vardhman Jain, a Google software engineer, in the post.

Of course, since Google+ requires that people use their real name, doing this profile switch may not be a good option for the many bloggers who publish using a pseudonym.

"That's why we've made it completely optional to switch," Jain wrote.

The option to replace a Blogger profile with a Google+ profile is available in Blogger In Draft, the testing site where Blogger publishers can turn on new features before they're generally available to everyone on Blogger.

Google expects the profile replacement option to be ready for all Blogger publishers through the main Blogger site "in the coming weeks."

Google officials, from CEO Larry Page on down, have made it very clear that Google+ isn't meant to be just a stand-alone social networking site, but rather a unifying service that ties Google products together and adds social components to them.

As such, the expectations for Google+ within the company are extremely high already, although it's a fairly new product launched in limited beta in June and to the general public about a month ago. It recently topped 40 million members, according to the company.

However, it's unclear whether the Google+ real names requirement will deter a significant number of users from linking their various Google accounts with Google+ because they may not want their real identity associated with some or all of those services, such as YouTube and Gmail.

For this reason, it will be interesting to see how Blogger publishers respond to this new option of slapping their Google+ "real" identity on the blogs they publish.

It's well known that many bloggers opt to keep their identity hidden for fear of possible consequences from expressing their opinions, such as problems with their employers and political persecution in countries where dissent isn't tolerated.

Google officials have said that they plan to allow for the use of pseudonyms in Google+ at some point, but it's unclear when that will happen and to what extent it will be possible to withhold one's real identity.

At this point, it's not required for users of Google services to have a Google+ account. However, people who do opt to join Google+ must first set up a public Google Profile which, at minimum, must make their real name visible to anyone who views the page.

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Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
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